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LEAD: Okinawa assembly rejects Japan-U.S. plan to relocate Futemma.

NAHA, Japan, July 18 Kyodo


The Okinawa prefectural assembly adopted a nonbinding resolution Friday against a Japan-U.S. plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station within Okinawa, with the backing of the opposition camp that controls the chamber.

Although nonbinding, the resolution is widely expected to affect negotiations between the central and Okinawa governments on the contentious relocation plan, which Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima approved with certain conditions.

The resolution and attached policy recommendations say the relocation of the Futemma station in Ginowan to Camp Schwab at Cape Henoko in Nago ''will impose and fix an excessive burden on'' the local communities.

The assembly ''strongly urges (the central government) to give up construction (of the base) immediately,'' they noted.

Nakaima downplayed the resolution, saying at a press conference in Tokyo, ''It's very regrettable that I cannot win understanding by local legislators yet. But I will explain to them more earnestly so my policy will be implemented.''

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said the relocation plan is part of a package designed to ''reduce the burden on Okinawa residents as much as possible.''

''We expect local assembly members to understand the point,'' the top government spokesman said at a news conference when asked about the resolution.

In an Okinawa prefectural assembly election in June, the ruling camp led by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's Liberal Democratic Party failed to maintain a majority. The coalition supports Nakaima.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jul 21, 2008
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